Download "City of Pain" at buyholyhiphop.net!!!
Mark J aims his unique musical talent and perspective at praise and worship of God. His lyrics are strong and determined, yet edgy and unyielding. In all, theres a common thread throughout his lyrical performances Gods constant love and sustaining presence.
Mark J, born Mark Johnson, was raised in Queens, New York, the birthplace of the music he would come to love hip-hop. As a child, he saw the originators of this music in his very own neighborhood and was enamored by their music, their lifestyles and the instructions they gave to his generation on what life was about. He spent hours listening to rap, eventually amassing a collection of hundreds of CDs. Mark J was heavily influenced by his love for hip-hop, although he knew its content clashed with his religious upbringing. But he didnt know if he believed in God, and the hypocrisy that he felt surrounded him, only fueled his ever-growing doubt. As a result of this uncertainty, indiscretions during his teen years sent him packing to Georgia.
During a Youth Night Service in 1990 at Community Bible Chapel Church in Atlanta, as Mark J watched films of the rapture, God revealed Himself, and it was that night Mark J accepted the Lord into his heart. Born-again and refocused, Mark J gained a new lease on life and knew he was to be used in Gods work. My prayer was if God can do it, may He put me in position where I can be used for His service.
In 1995, Mark J toured nationally with Young Brothers In Christ, spreading the gospel, sharing their testimonies, henceforth, bringing numerous lost souls to Christ. Upon their disbandment, Mark J continued as a solo artist, inspired by the work hed been doing for Gods kingdom, and motivated by faith in what God held for him in the future.
Mark Js debut CD, We Wrestle Not, was released in 1996 by Christ Inspired Only (CIO) Records, followed in 1997 by his sophomore effort, Forever Pregnant. Mark J.'s ministry spread throughout the nation even given him a spot on BET's Teen Summit in 1997. He open for artists such as Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, Ben Tankard & Gospel Gangstas. Inspired by his new tool of ministering the Gospel Mark J. began hosting open-mics in his basement which attracted up and coming artists (Pettidee, Mars ill, etc.) from all over the southeast. It was during this year that Mark J collaborated with several Christian artists, most notably, Elle R.O.C. & Soul Heir from Mars Hill, and created the group Sound of the Rebirth. From this ensemble came their self-titled compilation. With a new record label, Rescue Records, in 1999, Mark J released his third CD, Concept After Concept. By this time Mark J. had already travelled to the West Indies, Bermuda, Canada, UK & South America spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through hip-hop.
The following year Mark J took a sabbatical from his music ministry to focus on a personal journey, specifically his engagement and eventual marriage on July 21, 2001. This same year, Mark J honorably received a Holy Hip-Hop Award at the 1st Annual Hip-Hop Awards for his outstanding work in using hip-hop to take gospel to the streets.
Having severed ties with Rescue Records, Mark J has completed his fourth CD titled "City of Pain" with Much Luvv Records. This album focuses on visualizing Christ through the issues of today and understanding how Christ brings real solutions to real problems. Musically, the selections take you on a spiritual journey with its uplifting dramatic recitations laced over R&B/Hip-Hop infused tracks. With the cautious use of subtle but crisp lyrics, exploring various shaded complexities, Mark J has successfully married the hip-hop he loves with contemporary gospel, bringing to mind the realization of celebrating God-given life at all costs.
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1 No longer uncertain about his destiny, Mark J has mastered just that.
Common, The Roots, Tribe Called Quest, etc.
Solo artist with no instruments...strictly cd tracks.
1995- "Think on these things" YBC (Thing on these things)
1996- "We Wrestle Not" 1st LP Cio Music
1997- "Sheep Tales" Elle-Roc (Sheep Tales)
1997-"Forever Pregnant" 2nd LP CMN Records
1997-"Party Mix" CMN Records (Rhetorical Concepts)
1998-"Unified Revolution" Future Shock (Venus Vantage)
1998-"Godzhouse Compilation" CMN Records (Virtuous, Mic Knights)
1998-"Sound of the Rebirth" Sound of the Rebirth
1999-"Concept After Concept" 3rd LP Rescue Records
2000-"Urban Soldiers" Rescue Records (Blessed Insurance)
2000-"Sonic Imperial" Rescue Records (Countdown)
2001-"On Def Ears" The Pride (Slow Motion)
2002-"Unstoppable" Ricky B & Forgiven
2003-"City of Pain" 4th LP Much Luvv Records
2003-"Awethentic" Enock (Next Up)
2004-"UBU" Truth (Move ya stuff)
2004-"Wisdom" F.O.W. (Generations)
2005-"Love" Rhymes Elect
2005-"The Next...Now" Much Luvv Crew
2005-"SOULutions" 5th LP coming this summer!